Friday, 04 May 2012 00:00
For Syosset Baseball Association (SBA), the inaugural season of blast ball kicked off with 96 players and 16 teams taking the field at Syosset-Woodbury Park on Saturday, April 21 at 10 a.m. Blast ball, an introduction to the game of baseball for children ages 3 and 4, was launched this season to help teach batting and fielding skills to the youngest members of the community. Blast ball helps players build a skill set of the fundamentals of baseball and softball by the time they reach the age of 5, at which point they will be ready to play in the SBA T-ball division.
The equipment provided for blast ball consists of a foam baseball the size of a softball, a foam bat, a baseball tee and a marker for the players to stand behind for safety. There is also one base, which the players can run to after batting. This special base rewards the player for stepping on it with a noise. All players were provided with a numbered blast ball T-shirt and a baseball hat with an “S” for Syosset.
Parents helped their children to understand what he or she needed to do in order to hit and field the ball during the hour-long session, creating camaraderie between all the participants. This new program was put together with the assistance of board president Rob Jolson, director of operations Rick Ranges and AA Division Commissioner and director of field maintenance and sponsorships Larry Meltzer. It was their input and drive, over a short period of time, which helped to launch this program this season.
Though no team sponsors were assigned to the blast ball league, wearing uniforms gives these small players the feeling of being on a team. When they reach the T-ball league, they will have a sponsor’s name on the back of their T-shirt, as well as baseball pants and socks.
SBA is already looking toward the 2013 intramural season to improve upon the blast ball program. The league anticipates the registration of not only many returning 3-year-olds next year, but an influx of new children as well. More information on SBA can be found on its website, www.syossetbaseball.org.